INSTALLATION OF THE TACTICAL WEAPONS INDUSTRIES PARTS ON AN E&L AK
I had a chance to evaluate some parts from a new company called Tactical Weapons Industries (TWI) out of Taiwan. A relatively new company, TWI is making some replicas of more elusive items out there in airsoft, particularly for Russian guns. Although I wish I could review their entire lineup, some of the items they make are not kosher in the United States due to licensing reasons so they could not be legally imported. The replica parts I am reviewing today are the Z/RC-0 vertical grip, Z/B-19 and Z/B-10 rail system, Z/B-09 cantilever rail piece. These replicate Zenitco parts which is sort of the Russian equivalent of Magpul when it comes to accessories for the AK platform. You can see these types of parts used on weapons carried by upper echelon Russian Forces. At the moment the only other available parts are from Asura Dynamics, but they focus on other Zenit parts that TWI does not overlap. Supposedly Zenitco in Russia announced an airsoft/PTS product lineup in the future but there has been no news to date beyond that.
These items are made of 6061 T6 aluminum which is plenty durable for airsoft use. The gun I am installing these parts on is an E&L AK-74MN. These AKs are the closest if not exact to real steel dimensions as far as hand guards go. These parts are manufactured by TWI to fit GHK and LCT type AKs so as far as fitment goes, your mileage may vary. Since I am installing it on an E&L which is a different gun in terms dimensions, I cannot give an accurate comment on fitment for the guns these parts are intended for. For fitment on my E&L, there was some minor fitting required.
At first glance you will notice the rail is nicely crafted CNC cut aluminum. The finish is a powder-coat like process as you can see from the specs in the finish. There are even markings on there. I can’t read Russian or have any real Zenit parts to reference so I’ll let you be the judge on whether these look good or not.
Starting with the lower hand guard, the Z/B-10M has a piece toward the rear that needed some filing on both the left and right side. This part can be removed by unscrewing the 2 allen screws which made it easy to file and fit. The back piece is solid and prevents installation of a full length cleaning rod so if you guys have one you would have to dremel a channel for the rod to go through or omit it entirely. The Z/B-10M can be used by itself and gives you rails at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock position. It is my finding that the hand guard cap is 1mm further out and this can lead to some wobble if you take off too much material in the back piece. Just file starting toward the back rather than evenly on the back piece and then fit as you go along.
The upper hand guard, the Z/B-19, cannot be installed by itself. It mounts to the Z/B-10M. The installation of this part is pretty straightforward, all you have to do is remove the upper handguard from the gas tube and then slip it on, which the tabs aligning with the Z/B-10M and secure the 4 included allen screws.
The Z/RC-0 vertical grip is also aluminum. The bottom cap can be removed and can store some small parts if you desire. The cap has an o-ring on it to keep it secure and waterproof. Unfortunately when I installed it on the rail it had some room to wiggle. As you can see the rail clamp could have been designed a little bit better, although it’s nothing I couldn’t fix with tape. The screws on the bracket are offset enough that you cannot flip the bracket upside down for a better fit which was a bummer. Still a nice grip but I would have to ding it for fitment issues.
The last piece that is pretty cool is the Z/B-09 rail. This allows forward mounting of a light (hopefully the appropriate Zenit replica light will come out soon!) This piece had no fitment issues. It should be noted that these is a piece that can be removed on this rail to allow you to install the Z/RC-0 grip to be mounted into the rail making it one piece, and that grip fit in there perfectly with no play.
All in all I am very satisfied with these parts. I think the hardware included is a bit nice and more solid than what you get with Asura Dynamics but I’ll save that for another review. Right now these parts are available overseas. They are rather pricey but that is reflecting the high grade aluminum they are using. These parts are a must if you are trying to replicate a Russian loadout so if you can stomach the MSRP price and the shipping from overseas, then TWI is definitely a company you need to check out.